ARTS/West

ARTS/West building. Photo by Sydney Dawes.

Athens City Council approved $100,000 of funding for repairs to the ARTS/West building at its Monday evening meeting.

The structural repairs were a topic of discussion during City Council’s Finance and Personnel Committee meeting.

Councilmember Sam Crowl noted money appropriated to the recreation fund for the repairs would be reimbursed through the city’s insurance.

City Council moved to pass an emergency ordinance to appropriate $100,000 for the repair to the building.

Last month, a 1999 Lexus RX300 driven by Kelsey Auflick, 24, of Nelsonville, was reportedly traveling 50 miles per hour westbound on West State Street while “actively fleeing pursuing officers,” the crash report stated.

The vehicle failed to negotiate a turn, which caused it to run off the roadway to the right and strike an underground utility box, the crash report stated. This resulted in the vehicle being airborne for a short time before it collided into a picnic table and ultimately came to rest after striking the art building, located at 132 W. State St. in Athens.

ARTS/West Program specialist Emily Beveridge, the sole employee of the art building, told The NEWS that she was called to the scene at roughly 4:30 a.m. the morning of the crash to assess the situation.

The vehicle crashed into the lower portion of the addition to the building that branches off the main part.

The crash site has been boarded up.

ARTS/West reopened at the beginning of the year after a pandemic-induced hiatus. Hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Mondays through Fridays.

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